Maritime safety beyond ports: an issue of global governance between land and sea", Chapitre 12, in Sophie CROS et Florence LERIQUE (Coordonné par)


  • Lissillour Raphaël
  • Fulconis François
  • Bonet Fernandez Dominique


  • Classification societies
  • Maritime safety
  • Maritime transport
  • Port
  • Theory of practice

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The substantial growth in international maritime traffic that we have witnessed in recent years reinforces the challenges of improving maritime safety, notably in terms of the safety of people and goods, health, economic and environment. At the same time, the maritime industry connects many actors, some of whom can play a decisive role in the field of maritime safety, such as shipowners, shipyards, charterers, ports, insurance underwriters, operators, and classification societies. But, in this complex chain of operations, does another major player control issues related to maritime safety? In other words, don't classification societies, invisible to public, play a major role in the management and governance of maritime security between land and sea? To answer these questions, we have mobilized Bourdieu's theory of practice. It enables us to provide an in-depth sociological understanding of the stakeholders’ interests, their source of power in the field of maritime safety and how the predominance of classification societies is sustained and fueled by the practices of each actor. Based on a qualitative field study with major actors of the industrial shipping chain, our results show the centrality of the classification societies. They benefit from major position due to their high endowment in the forms of capital that are predominant in the field, in particular symbolic, social, informational and economic capital.

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